Montana Rental Lease Agreements
The Montana Rental Lease Agreements encompass a range of provisions related to the lease of a residential property. Upon signing the contract, landlords and tenants are legally obligated to follow provisions relating to the rental matters contained in the document, and can face legal repercussion if broken.
Both parties should familiarize themselves with The Montana Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, which represents the primary act governing landlord-tenant relationships in the state.
What is a Montana Lease Agreement?
A Montana Lease Agreement is a legal document that must be drafted and signed by landlords and tenants in order for the lease of a property to be lawfully established. To minimize the chance of difficulties arising between the parties, landlords are advised to first use a rental application form as an opportunity to screen prospective tenants.
State Definition (§ 70-24-103(13)) – “means all agreements, written or oral, and valid rules adopted under 70-24-311 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises.”
Types of Agreements
College Roommate Agreement – College roommates who wish to reduce conflict caused by confusion about expected dorm room conduct should work with one another to develop this agreement.
Commercial Lease Agreement – An agreement that makes it possible for a business to rent a property for commercial use, and for the landlord of the property to lease it to them.
Lease to Own Agreement – A contract specifically created with the purpose of providing a legal pathway for a tenant to purchase the property they rent.
Month-to-Month Lease – Unless the landlord or tenant provides a notice of non-renewal, this contract automatically renews after thirty (30) days.
Roommate Agreement – Allows roommates to formulate an agreement about their individual and shared responsibilities in their rental unit.
Standard Residential Lease Agreement – A typical lease agreement that contains all necessary state law provisions as well as any other provisions the landlord and tenant agree to.
Sublease Agreement – A contract created to detail the conditions by which a tenant who leases a rental property can further lease it on to another party.
When is Rent Due?
In accordance with §70-24-201(2), rent must be paid in equal monthly installments at the beginning of each month. For terms of a month or less, rent is payable at the beginning of the term. There is no grace period provided for by Montana state law.
Emergency (§70-24-312(2)): Landlords may enter the rental dwelling without prior consent from tenants in emergency circumstances.
Non-Emergency (§70-24-312(2)): Landlords may only enter at reasonable times and are required to give at least twenty (24) hours’ notice of their intent to enter the rental dwelling in order to: “inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors.”
- Lead Paint Disclosure: As per federal law, if a landlord is aware of any lead paint hazards in their rental property built before 1978, they must disclose this fact to tenants. In addition, they must provide tenants with a copy of a pamphlet about the topic.
- Names and Addresses (§ 70-24-301): At or before the commencement of the tenancy, the names and addresses of the landlord and anyone authorized to act on their behalf must be disclosed.
- Mold Disclosure (§ 70-16-703): If a landlord has knowledge of the presence of mold in the building, they must disclose this to tenants prior to or upon entry into a lease contract. The landlord must also disclose if a building has been tested for mold, and provide a copy of the results of that test, if available to them, as well as evidence of any subsequent mitigation or treatment.
- Statement about Condition of Rental Dwelling (§ 70-25-206): Landlords who require tenants to provide a security deposit must furnish each tenant with a separate written statement attached to the lease that details the present condition of the rental dwelling.
Security Deposit Laws
Maximum: There is no maximum security deposit amount dictated by Montana state law.
Returning to Tenant (§ 70-25-202(1)): In cases where there is no damage to the rental dwelling, no cleaning required, and no rent unpaid nor utilities, landlords must return the security deposit within ten (10) days. They must do so by mailing it to the new address provided by the tenant, or to the tenant’s last-known address if no new address was provided.
In cases where there is any rent due, any damages, or cleaning charges, the landlord must furnish tenants with a written list detailing these expenses within thirty (30) days of the termination of a tenancy, or within thirty (30) days of a surrender and acceptance of the leasehold premises.